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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the market for new shocks and struts, I have been on and off the site over the years, hell I have almost sold the x a few times as my family has changed,
I have been reading up on the posts and gathering facts, even emailed Gregg at PRG who advised a set of 5100's would be fine.
Then I read elsewhere that they suck....

Long story short, I have a 4x4 that I used in the snow up in NH, 99,000 miles on it and I now Live in Florida and have 2 boys.
I have no intention of getting off road at this time, but do plan on towing a camper.
I am considering air bags for the rear just for that reason.
so simple question, what are the best shocks/ struts I can put on a stock suspension

I can get the Bil 5100 2 shock and 2 strut shipped for about $350, and i can go a lil higher like $500 max, Doing the work with my dad in the garage.


On a second subject, I did change the plugs and the belt this past weekend, and did so without taking off the intake, that front passenger coil pak was a bear, but i did find once you break( it comes apart and goes back together with no damage) it in to 2 parts its much easier, that took just over an hour to do and no gaskets were messed with
 

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For your needs really any shock would be fine.

Bilsteins are known to be a quality name. 5100s would work, but are overkill for your application. The 5100 shock is a height adjustable shock. Its valved the same as their yellow/blue 4600 HD shock.

Those would be the shocks. A 'strut' is basically a shock with a coil added to it. If you wish to retain stock height you would keep your existing front coil, assuming it is in good shape. Typically coils can last the life of the vehicle assuming you did not drive with blown front shocks for a significant period of time. (Front coils will wear faster on blown shocks as they take the brunt of suspension impacts, rather than the shock itself.) I have yet to find an aftermarket coil offered at stock height. If you need new coils, go OEM. They aren't that expensive either. All model Xterra's have the same coils (even if its an OR). The OR has different valved shocks, but all shocks are the same measurements for all 2nd GEN years.

I bought a set of HD 4600s a couple months ago and have been very pleased with them. The ride is compliant, smooth and controlled. Not jarring.

Alternatively you could purchase a set of Bilstein OR shocks. These too are also re-purposed 4600 HDs - but they are valved specifically for the Xterra. However, in my research I've read that they are meant to be a little softer for off-roading. I went with the standard 4600 series because I wanted a stiffer ride (for handling) and they had the best price.

I bought from eShocks.com (which yes looks like a GeoCities site - but they are legit). For the best price I could find of $279 shipped for a set of 4.

Couple Notes on installing yourself:
- The rear shock lower bolts can be a pain. Use a penetrating spray a couple days prior to install. There is also a thread on using a jack for additional torque on the bolts. That helped for me.
- The front you can take off, but need a spring compressor to take the old springs off and put on the new shocks. I had a shop (local Meineke) do this, it was only $40 and much safer than doing a spring compressor yourself
- Finally MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW THE FRONT SHOCK ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS FROM BILSTEIN. You need to reuse parts from the original Nissan assembly. A point most shops miss (mine did too, but I caught before I re-installed) and this will result in a poor / clunky ride.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info, dad is a 35 yr ASE master Mechanic, we has air tools!
the one thing he does not have is the spring compressor that i can rent at the auto part store for free, but its nice to know $40 would do it at a shop
 

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I just ordered a set of 4600's for my xterra, what did you end up going with? I got them off of e-shock, super ghetto website, but unbeatable prices and free shipping!

I am at 155K KM's (almost 100k miles) and can feel the need for a refresh, the rear end feels a bit fishy around bumpy corners.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have not made a firm decision just yet, still leaning towards the 5100's but also considering helwig helper or riderite bags
 
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